When he was 22 years old, Cassius Clay reveled to the reporters that he is a member of Nation of Islam movement. Precisely then he changed his name to Muhammad Ali, although not all the media initially accepted the new name.
Boxer Muhammad Ali was born on this day as Cassius Clay, in Louisville, Kentucky. When converting to Islam he took the name Muhammad Ali. It is interesting that his younger brother Rudolph Valentino Clay (who, as a Muslim, took the name Rahman Ali) was also a professional boxer.
When he was 22, Cassius Clay revealed to the reporters that he is a member of Nation of Islam movement. At that time, another member of Nation of Islam was the famous Malcom X, who additionally influenced Clay. It was precisely then that Clay changed his name to Muhammad Ali, although not all the media initially accepted the new name.
The Nation of Islam rather aggressively represented the African Americans’ superiority over the white people, so Muhammad Ali became a controversial figure. He claimed that he threw his gold medal from the Olympics in to the river after he was refused accommodation in a white man’s restaurant. Muhammad later converted to Sunni Islam, and in 2005 he embraced Sufism. Many media proclaimed Muhammad Ali the best boxer of 20th century.